Lions number eight Warren Whiteley explained this week's Springbok training camp had raised the excitement in a World Cup year.
Whiteley was one of five Lions players included in the training camp in Cape Town, amongst them was also in-form Lions scrum-half Faf de Klerk.
The Lions, one of the surprise packages in Super Rugby this season, will now turn their attention to this weekend's clash with the Stormers, but Whiteley admits it was great to be able to start preparation for the World Cup.
"It’s always a massive honour and great experience being part of the national squad," Whiteley told MyPlayers.co.za.
"One gets to catch up with the guys after months of Super Rugby, and start the preparations for what will be an exciting year ahead, including the Rugby Championship and World Cup.
"The World Cup is a massive occasion, which every player wants to be part of. So you can imagine the excitement among the players, especially guys like Cheslin Kolbe and Faf de Klerk, who have shown great form this season and I’m glad they’ve received reward for their hard work.
"There’s always a lot of energy in the national squad, but with the new guys involved, there’s that extra spark brought to the field."